Senate Committee Blocks Confirmation of Trump EPA Chief to Serve as Youngkin’s Secretary of Natural Resources; Republicans Planning Consequences

RICHMOND, Virginia – The Senate Privileges and Elections Committee blocked Governor Glenn Youngkin’s nominee for Secretary of Natural Resources, former Trump EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler. On Tuesday afternoon, Senator Creigh Deeds (D-Bath) moved to remove Wheeler’s name from a Senate resolution to confirm the nominees.

“We received a letter from 150 former EPA employees, who suggested that Mr. Wheeler had undermined the work of the EPA and worked against the environmental interests in this country. We think that members of the governor’s cabinet ought to be able to unite us as Virginians, and certainly the secretary of natural resources ought to be one that we have confidence in, in terms of working for the preservation and conservation of our natural resources,” Deeds said.

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In Settlement, Dominion Energy Virginia Customers Get $330 Million Refund, While Utility Keeps $309 Million For Reinvestment

Virginia’s Dominion Energy customers will get $330 million in refunds due to a settlement. On Thursday, the Virginia State Corporation Commission (SCC) approved the settlement put forward in October, closing the agency’s triennial financial review of the utility. SCC staff found that the company may have overcharged customers as much as $1.1 billion, according to a September report. Dominion Energy can deduct some items from that before issuing refunds, including a $309 million Customer Credit Reinvestment Offset (CCRO) that allows reinvestment in offshore wind, solar, and grid transformation projects.

The settlement also includes a rate reduction that will reduce customers’ bills.

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Virginia State Corporation Commission Staff Report: Dominion Energy Should Pay Customers $312.4 Million Refund

As testimony in an ongoing review of Dominion Energy, a State Corporation Commission (SCC) staff report recommends a $312.4 million refund to the utility’s Virginia customers after finding that the utility’s earnings exceeded a regulatory threshold by $1.143 billion in 2017 through 2020.

“Staff’s analysis indicates the Company earned a 13.61 percent ROE [Return on Equity] during the 2017 through 2020 earnings test period. This is 441 basis points of earnings, or $1.143 billion of revenues, above the applicable fair combined ROE of 9.2 percent,” SCC Division of Utility Accounting and Finance Deputy Director Patrick Carr wrote in the report.

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Circuit Court Dismisses Alliance Defending Freedom Lawsuit over Virginia Values Act

Shot of a brick church with blue sky

Loudoun County Circuit Court Judge James Plowman dismissed a challenge to the Virginia Values Act (VVA) Friday. A group including churches and schools sued the State Corporation Commission (SCC), Attorney General Mark Herring, and Virginia Division of Human Rights and Fair Housing Director Thomas Payne, II in October 2020. They argue that the VVA and a related insurance law violate the organizations’ freedom of religion and speech.

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Appalachian Power Company Appealing Virginia Supreme Court for Electricity Rate Increase

After the State Corporation Commission (SCC) denied Appalachian Power Company (APC) a rate increase, the company is appealing to the Virginia Supreme Court, according to a notice of appeal filed with the SCC Monday. The company requested a rate change last year, but the SCC has reiterated its denial of the request on March 26.

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Vacancy Expected in Powerful Virginia Agency the SCC

The U.S. Senate has confirmed President Trump’s appointment of Mark Christie to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. That leaves a vacancy on the Virginia State Corporation Commission (SCC), where Christie was the chair of the three-person panel. Governor Ralph Northam said at a Wednesday press conference that he will temporarily fill the vacancy with Angela Navarro, former deputy secretary of Natural Resources under Northam and his predecessor Terry McAuliffe.

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SCC Denies Northam’s Request to Extend Utility Shutoff Moratorium

The Virginia State Corporation Commission (SCC) denied Governor Ralph Northam’s Thursday request to again extend a moratorium on utilities shutoffs until December. The moratorium will end October 5. The SCC had previously warned that they would not consider any further extensions.

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SCC Extends Moratorium on Utility Shutoffs but Warns Bills Are Piling Up

Responding to a request from Governor Ralph Northam, Virginia’s State Corporation Comission (SCC) has agreed to extend a moratorium on utility shutoffs until October 5. The SCC warns that they will not extend the moratorium again. The moratorium has been in place since March 16, 2020.

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Virginia State Corporation Commission Extends Moratorium on Utility Service Shut-offs for Two Weeks

The State Corporation Commission (SCC) is extending its general moratorium on service shut-offs until September 16 to help customers struggling to pay their utility bills during the COVID-19 pandemic and the economic fallout. 

In an news release Monday, the SCC said it is continuing its emergency measure to give the Virginia General Assembly, currently meeting in a special session, more time to pass legislation addressing the impact of COVID-19 on utility customers over the last six months. 

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Dominion Earns $500 Million Above Authorized Profit as Bills Continue to rise for Virginians, SCC Report Says

Dominion Energy earned $502.7 million in revenues above authorized profit from 2017-2019, and customers’ residential energy bills have increased by 28.81 percent since 2007, the State Corporation Commission (SCC) said.

The Virginia State Corporation Commission released its annual report on the status of implementation of the Virginia Electric Utility Regulation Act, highlighting detailed business figures of Dominion Energy and other electric companies operating in Virginia.

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